When was the last time you used a ride-sharing service? Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft provide you with a safe ride home after a night out or a more convenient option than trying to find parking downtown. Chances are high that you’ve used one of these services at least once in your life.
We’re beginning to learn more about the societal impacts of ride-sharing companies like Uber, which launched back in 2010. While ride-sharing services provide many benefits, they are not impervious to things like car accidents. Here are five things you didn’t know about Uber accidents:
- Uber provides insurance for its drivers. Have you wondered what happens if you’re involved in an accident with an Uber driver? Uber’s insurance covers their drivers when they are on their way to pick up a passenger or waiting for a ride request. When a driver is off the clock, their personal auto insurance covers them as it would in any other accident.
- Traffic deaths have increased since Uber launched. Traffic fatalities were at their lowest levels in 60 years when ride-sharing services became common in 2010. Since then, traffic deaths have increased by as much as three percent each year.
- Traffic jams have also risen since 2010. Nearly 40 percent more people utilized services like Lyft and Uber in 2017 than they did in 2016. This has created an increase in traffic congestion. More vehicles on the road, of course, increases the chances of an accident.
- The rise in ridesharing deaths has proven costly. Experts believe that approximately 1,000 more people have died each year since 2010 due to ride-sharing accidents and has resulted in a $10 billion annual economic loss
- An Uber ride may be safer than a taxi ride. A 2016 study from the Taxi and Limousine Commission showed Uber drivers were involved in roughly 750 accidents in 2015, lower than the industry average. However, Uber contested the study saying that just because a driver is affiliated with the company, it doesn’t mean the accident occurred while they were driving for Uber.
Beware of the risks
Like any car ride, you assume a certain level of risk each time you get into a vehicle. This includes using services like Uber or Lyft. Research has shown a link to increased traffic and traffic fatalities in the decade since Uber has launched but there may be ways to make your ride safer. For instance, planning your ride around rush hour times could lower your risk for an accident because there are fewer cars on the road.
Like each decision, your choice to take an Uber has pros and cons. An Uber is always a better option than drinking and driving, but there’s also the risk of an accident each time you get into a vehicle.